New musical produced by Norwich’s best known dancing family
- Credit: Archant 2013
Three generations from one of Norwich's best known dancing families have come together to make their very own musical.
Those watching Enchantment Under a Tree at the city's Theatre Royal next month will get the distinct feeling it is a family affair as the show, produced by the Heather Millan School of Dance and Performing Arts, has been written by Heather's daughter, Sarah.
And her cast stars students from the school aged between three and 80 – including Sarah's daughters Georgia, 19, who teaches there, and Jessie-Mae, 13, who is a student.
Sarah, 39, who is herself a teacher and vice-principal, said the family had constantly been meeting around the kitchen table to plan the performance. She said it was only natural that the whole family would be involved.
'All of my children have been brought up in amongst the dance school,' she said. 'Everyone knew who they were and they were part of the fixtures and fittings.
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'We all started dancing at three and what we really enjoy about our dancing is the family association. Everyone says they can feel the warmth of our family on stage and that really filters through into the dance school.
'Everyone feels a part of the production, so the whole school itself is like one big extended family.'
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Jessie-Mae, who will be part of the dance acts during the show said: 'My friends often ask me if I find it weird working with my family but I don't find it awkward at all. In fact, I love being part of a family where everyone is in dance. I've grown up doing it and I love it.'
Georgia, who has choreographed some of the performance's dance routines, added: 'I was just born into dancing.
'I love working with my family. When you come home really hyped after a show, you can talk to everyone else about it and know that they understand.'
Heather, 57, started the family's dancing bug by taking the activity up as a youngster.
After teaching dancing in Germany, she returned to the United Kingdom in 1981 to open her own dance school with classes held at Norwich community centres.
Her classes became increasingly popular, so she joined forces with her daughter Sarah in 1993 to open a studio in Cowgate Street.
The school has since grown to teach approximately 300 students in two dance studios and a singing and drama studio, all on the same site.
Enchantment Under a Tree will be shown at Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday, May 5 at 2.30pm and 7pm.